Day 2 |
Nov 15, 2008

At Sea, En Route To The Falkland Islands

By Robin Aiello

Weather: Scattered clouds and bright sunshine

The overnight passage from Ushuaia was relatively calm – we had about three meter swells, but pushing us from the stern so the motion of the ship was relatively calm, and we had a good first-night sleep aboard the Prince Albert II.

In the morning at breakfast, we were captivated by giant petrels and albatrosses as they soared past The Restaurant’s large picture windows. The albatrosses have one of the largest wingspans of all birds – reaching nearly eight feet across. They rarely actually flap their wings; instead, they keep them fully extended and simply glide over the ocean using the updrafts and winds.

At 10 am, the onboard ornithologist, Chris Hurbard, presented the first in a series of lectures. His lecture, entitled “Birds of the Falklands” was a terrific introduction to the vast diversity of birds that we could see over the next few days. Chris highlighted his talk with beautiful photos of each bird.

After Chris, our historian Victoria Salem gave a lecture on “The History of the Falkland Islands” which covered the history of the islands from the first explorers in 1592 to the Falkland War of 1982, and into the 21st century.

Later in the afternoon, after an afternoon nap, we gathered in the Reception area to collect a pair of gumboots that we would need for all the wet landings from the Zodiacs. This activity was followed by a mandatory Zodiac briefing delivered by our Expedition Leader Robin West. During this briefing, Robin told us the proper techniques for getting into and out of a Zodiac so that we would all remain safe.

After the briefing, we returned to our suites to prepare for the next event – the Captain’s Welcome Cocktail and Dinner. Everyone gathered in The Theatre dressed in their best. It was a fun night of meeting new people and chatting about what adventures were to come. The dinner was a fantastic feast of lobster or filet mignon.

We retired to our suites excited about the days to come on our journey to the Falklands, South Georgia and the Antarctic Peninsula.